Governor responds to tribes’ casino lawsuit
The ongoing dispute between Gov. Kevin Stitt and tribal governments that operate casinos has primarily centered on one question: Did state-tribal gaming compacts auto-renew for another 15-year term on Jan. 1 as the result of continued slot machine gaming at two horse racetracks?
A lawsuit filed on Dec. 31, 2019 by the Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, and Choctaw Nation asked a federal court to declare the compacts have auto-renewed because Remington Park racetrack in Oklahoma City and Will Rogers Downs in Rogers County were given the right to continue slot machine gaming onsite for another year by a vote of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission on October 17, 2019.
The three tribal governments claim the commission’s action fulfilled all compact requirements for auto-renewal and tribal governments “therefore have a right under Federal law to continue their conduct of Class III gaming activities under their Compacts on and after January 1, 2020.”
But in a response filed on behalf of Stitt and the State of Oklahoma this week, the state says that claim is based on a false understanding of gaming compacts’ provisions.
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